Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Physalis hederifolia, Ivyleaf Groundcherry

Ivyleaf Groundcherry has showy yellow flowers with 5 purple-brown spots at the inside base. The floral tube is widely bell-shaped to flattish. Physalis hederifoliaIvyleaf Groundcherry has sepals that enlarge to an inflated papery “lantern” as the fruit matures and grows into a ripe berry. Physalis hederifoliaIvyleaf Groundcherry has “lantern” like husks that are sepals that continue to grow as the fruit matures. Some of the plants in Physalis are sometimes call “Chinese Lanterns”. Physalis hederifoliaIvyleaf Groundcherry is a native species that grows up to about 2 and ½ feet. Leaves are somewhat heart-shaped, gray-green and about 1 ½ inches long. Physalis hederifoliaIvyleaf Groundcherry is a perennial forb or sub-shrub that grows at elevations between 3,000 and 7,000 feet or so. The plants are often found in foothills, plains and gravelly to rocky slopes. Physalis hederifolia

Scientific Name: Physalis hederifolia
Common Name: Ivyleaf Groundcherry
Also Called: Ivyleaf Ground Cherry
Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade or Potato Family
Synonyms: (Physalis hederaefolia, Physalis hederaefolia var. puberula, Physalis hederifolia var. puberula)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to about 30 inches or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; plants with fleshy rhizome, hairs branched or glandular.
Leaves: Green, gray-green; leaves about 1½ inches; leaf shape ovate; margins entire to coarsely toothed.
Flower Color: Yellow or pale yellow, generally with 5 purple-brown spots at the inside base; inflorescence pedicels; flower flora tube widely bell-shaped to flattish, calyx enlarges as fruit matures; fruit becomes inflated and papery.
Flowering Season: April to August.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,000 feet; 2,000 to 6,000 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Foothills, plains, gravelly to rocky slopes; in bush and open woodlands in Texas.

Recorded Range: Physalis hederifolia is found mostly in western ½ of the United States and in a few states east of the Mississippi; AZ, CA, CO, KS, LA, MT, NE, NM, NV, NY, OK, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WY.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Physalis hederifolia.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 29 species and 52 accepted taxa overall for Physalis. World wide, The Plant List includes 124 accepted species names and includes a further 52 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona, California and New Mexico each have 12 species of Physalis, Nevada has 4 species, Texas has 18 species and Utah has 7 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 4 varieties in Physalis hederifolia;
Physalis hederifolia var. comata, Ivyleaf Groundcherry (AZ, CO, KS, LA, MT, ND, NE, NM, OK, SD, WY, TX);
Physalis hederifolia var. fendleri, Fendler's Groundcherry (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT);
Physalis hederifolia var. hederifolia, Ivyleaf Groundcherry (AZ, CA, NM, NV, NY, RI, TX, UT, VT);
Physalis hederifolia var. palmeri, Palmer's Groundcherry (CA, NV, UT).

Comments: Physalis hederifolia is one of about 20 species in the southwestern United States; Arizona, California and New Mexico each have 12 species.

In Southwest Desert Flora please also see; Sharpleaf Groundcherry, Physalis acutifolia, Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry, Physalis crassifolia and Husk Tomato, Physalis pubescens.

Date Profile Completed: 09/08/2016, updated format 10/06/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/08/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/08/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 09/08/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 09/08/2016),7666,7669
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 09/08/2016).